REPORT | Southend United 0-2 Fleetwood TownSouthend United fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Fleetwood Town in Sky Bet League One.
The clinical Cod Army settled the affair with a goals in either half from Chris Long and Ashley Hunter to leave Blues still searching for their first home win of the season.
Phil Brown made just the one change for this one with Jack Bridge making his first start of the season replacing David Mooney in a number ten role in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
There was an early chance for Fleetwood as a deflected cross from McLaughlin almost dropped to Burnley loanee Long on four minutes, but Blues managed to scramble it clear.
It was a bright start to the game with both sides looking to get on the ball and play, and it was the away side who took the lead as Long fired in from 20-yards out on 19 minutes into the bottom left-hand corner.
Long was not planning on finishing there – he tried his luck again from range with a right-footed curling effort, though this time Oxley was equal to it on 25’.
Barrett was first to go in the referee’s notebook with just over ten minutes of the half left to play for a late challenge.
The resulting free kick was cleared out from a corner which was played in by Grant. Jonsson met the set-piece well at the near post and sent a glancing header back across goal. The ball looked destined for the net but Demetriou managed to header it off the line.
Fleetwood continued to look the most likely to score the game’s second goal. Ball charged into the box which Coker tracked and challenged, the ball fell to Cole though his strike was blocked for a corner.
Southend were hanging on with just over five to play. Pond this time headed just wide from the corner.
Phil Brown looked to change things and sent on the pace of McGlashan for Adam King on 40 minutes. O’Neill went into the centre of midfield leaving McGlashan to operate on the right.
O’Neill almost got an equaliser in added time, though keeper Neal was up to the task and saved well.
Half Time: Southend United 0-1 Fleetwood Town
Five minutes into the second period a great chance dropped to O'Neill 20 yards from goal, but he snatched at it and fired over.
Blues added further firepower to the attack on 56 minutes as Mooney came on for Bridge.
It was Fleetwood who went close to adding the next goal though, Cole beat Coker for pace, cut back in the area and fired just over the bar from 12 yards on 64 minutes.
Blues rolled up their sleeves and tried to force an equaliser. A goal mouth scramble in Fleetwood area didn’t fall for them though on 66’ as Fleetwood somehow cleared.
They then followed that up with a great cross from McLaughlin seeking out McGlashan at the far post. That again came to nothing as the home side cranked up the pressure.
Blues were left vulnerable to the counter attack however. Fleetwood broke away and had three chances squandered from Ball, then Cole and Hunter on 74 minutes.
They wouldn’t pass up the next chance they got as substitute Hunter doubled the Cod Army’s advantage. Ryan slipped in Hunter who drilled it back across the face of goal and past Oxley with 13 left to play.
Blues players and fans alike screamed for a penalty on 82 minutes. McLaughlin played a deep-lying cross from the left which appeared to strike the arm of Bell, though match official, Ollie Yates waved away the appeals.
From one end to the other Fleetwood nearly capitalised on the break. Cole played in Hunter though Southend managed to get enough bodies back to quash the danger.
Five minutes were called at the end of the second half though Blues couldn’t muster any signs of revival and the game ended with Fleetwood as 2-0 victors.
SOUTHEND XI | Oxley, Demetriou, Barrett (c), Thompson, Coker, O'Neill, Leonard, King, McLaughlin, Bridge, Cox.
SUBS | Smith, White, Sokolik, Atkinson, McGlashan, Mooney, Williams.
Fleetwood Town XI | Neal, McLaughlin, Bell, Jonsson, Eastham, Pond (c), Ryan, Ball, Grant, Long, Cole.
SUBS | Cairns, Kip, Bolger, Nirennold, Duckworth, Hunter, Woolford.
Attendance: 5,507 (86 Away)
Golden Goal Time: 18 minutes 35 Seconds.